Experience in life comes at you from all angles

Experience in life comes at you from all angles. I recently went to a seminar for dentists. So I’m in a room of over 50 dentists and their staff. Mostly front office staff. This was a new patient seminar.

I think most of the room thought that I was the dentist. I actually picked up on the information better than most, and I made jokes about what they were talking about. A lot of the information was review, but there were some great points made. This gets me into today’s topic: Insurance.

Now, I have briefly mentioned this topic in the past. But I’m really going to get into it in this blog series. Dental insurance is a scam. It’s the greatest scam I have ever seen. I’m sure it started with great intentions, for very little money every year, you get $1000 per year to use towards dental treatment. This widely used model started in the 1970’s. Now, I won’t go into much about the 70’s, since I don’t remember much of them (not due to drugs, but I wasn’t born until the end of the 70’s), but as I’m writing this blog, I’m doing some financial research about inflation and fun things of that kind.

So, according to inflationdata.com, $1000 in 1971 could buy you what $5,9646.99 could buy you today. Yes, you read that right. What you could have bought in 1971 would cost you almost $6000 today. Now, I hate to insert some modern acronyms in here, but OMG!!!! And add a few more exclamation points after that. So, back in the 70’s, your $1000 coverage would get you A LOT of dentistry! If dental insurance plans kept up with inflation, people would be getting $6000 per year coverage!
What are we getting instead? Well, up until the recent Affordable Care Act, I noticed more and more insurance companies squeaking up their insurance benefits to $1500, $2000 or dare I say…$2500. I think I saw one plan at $5000 and one plan at $10,000, but those plans had some other downfalls.

So, you’re paying for $1000. Average cost of a crown currently is well over $1000. Insurance might cover 50% of that, so we’ll say a crown is $1200, insurance covered $600, you have $400 left for the year. Two cleanings at $200 for the exam, x-rays and cleaning, and you’re out of insurance. What if you need a root canal? What if you have 5 other cavities? Most people just wait until next year. While that works for your pocket book, what does that actually do for your health? We’ll talk about that more next week!